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Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:37

Stoked for storks

As we started over the bridge on the Isle of Palms Connector, I noticed a line of large black and white birds through the pine trees. “Gourd heads,” I must have said out loud, because my wife said, “What?” “Wood…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:35

AT celebrates 75 years

As the legend goes, Earl Shaffer, the first man to hike the Appalachian Trail from end-to-end in 1948, used leather footwear without socks. He only sprinkled foot powder in his boots each morning — some say he used sand —…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:34

Rare book harkens back to a different time

Ramblin’ in Rabun is a reprint of a delightful book that was written down in Clayton, Ga., some 40 years ago. I have always been a fan of books that were compiled by some imaginative journalist who became profoundly interested…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:31

Reading Room news briefs

Real-life mystery talks focus Margaret Dunbar Cutright, author of A Case for Soloman, will be at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville at 3 p.m. on Aug. 25. Cutright’s book tells the spellbinding story of one of the most celebrated kidnapping…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:21

Letter writers were simply off the mark

To the Editor: A pair of letters in this (last) week’s Smoky Mountain News made me check the calendar to see if it was April Fool’s Day. One of them asserted that Republicans want everyone to work and aren’t the…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:09

Let’s restore common sense in November

To the Editor: Last Saturday afternoon, Aug. 11, hundreds of people traveled to Jackson County to attend a rally which featured the North Carolina Council of State and other Democratic candidates. This rally was an historic happening, and was put…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:09

We need laws to control loud, dangerous pets

To the Editor: What an ignorant letter (“People, not dogs, are the problem,” Aug. 1, The Smoky Mountain News) written by Mylan Sessions of Clyde. We were the second homeowners to build in our area — nice, quiet and lonely…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:08

It’s important to protect the golden goose

To the Editor: As Western North Carolina strives to attract more businesses into this area, a major selling point is the natural beauty of our mountains. Not only does this incredible natural resource promote a high quality of life, but…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:07

Valid criticism better than false accusations

To the Editor: I have been in such a state of shock over a letter published in your newspaper (“Obama wants to limit free speech rights,” Aug. 1 edition) that it has taken me this long to respond. I have…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:59

Raymond Fairchild and a vanishing tradition

By Charles and Cynthia Seeley • Guest Columnists I am a visitor to Maggie Valley. My husband, two friends and I chose this area of the North Carolina mountains as our vacation destination by pure chance. Our goal was to…
Jackson County leaders appear to be backing down from a lofty vision to transform U.S. 441 leading to Cherokee into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. The planning board has spent several months rewriting commercial development guidelines for the 3.5-mile stretch of highway.…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:55

State senate candidates stake out positions

Verbal sparring over key campaign issues in this fall’s state senate race was lively and pointed between N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and former Democratic state Sen. John Snow at an Aug. 9 forum the Macon County League of Women…
When Tom Sigmon tells people in Charlotte that he only lives there part-time, they often ask where he spends the rest of his year. Waynesville, he responds.
A task force charged with creating guidelines for a joint Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is still struggling to figure out exactly how everything will work — and the deadline for making recommendations to the county leadership is drawing nearer. Jackson…
Many counties are seeing an increase in tourism-related spending this year, but most have still not bounced back to their pre-recession numbers. The only real way for counties to measure how many tourists are stopping in their towns is through…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:34

Team weight-loss competition starts soon

The Franklin Angel Medical Center is hosting the kick-off for its third team weight-loss competition 9 a.m. Aug. 25 in the hospital dining room. The competition is call Lighten UP 4 Life and consists of four-person teams who face-off against…
The Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Waynesville is lowering the fee to $5 to adopt cats five months or older. The promotion will run for five days starting Aug. 14. The unwanted cat population increases in the summertime, and many…
The HRMC Foundation is hosting its 21st annual Charitable Classic Golf & Gala, a two-day fundraiser Aug. 28-29 to benefit MedWest-Haywood. The tournament will kick off with the men’s golf tournaments at 8:30 a.m. at the Maggie Valley Club and…
The Haywood Community College Board of Trustees have apparently rejected five finalists in its search for a new college president and will now cast a wider net by selecting five additional candidates. In a split vote earlier this month, the…
For a little less than the cost of a cup of coffee, Haywood County is buying the small, closed-down state prison in the Hazelwood community of Waynesville. The county is buying the 128-bed minimum security prison from the state for…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:29

MedWest-Haywood to fill key slots

The county is looking to fill five open positions on MedWest-Haywood’s hospital authority board during a critical time when the MedWest system as a whole is trying to decide its future. Growing discontent among some Jackson County doctors has the…
The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen will vote this week whether to relax restrictions on sweepstakes machines for businesses that plan to make their money mostly from the controversial mechanisms. If the ordinance passes as is, sweepstake-specific businesses can have…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:26

Low values prompt reval delay

Real estate prices have taken such a drastic plunge in Macon and Jackson counties — which once boasted the highest concentration of mega-developments catering to the high-end second home market — that county commissioners there keep postponing the countywide property…
As Macon Bank scurried to get in on the ground floor of the real estate heyday in the mountains, it unwittingly stumbled into a house of cards, and found itself caught up in a scheme akin to insider trading that…
Haywood County temporarily backed off its hard-line stance against tiny Confederate flags being stuck in the ground around the base of a memorial for Confederate soldiers on the lawn of the historic courthouse in Waynesville, but has once again started…
The former Bryson City fire chief Joey Hughes is facing criminal charges following a months-long investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation into missing funds from fire department coffers. His wife, Cylena Hughes, has also been charged in connection with…
The Friends of the Library will present the final novel in the “Let’s Talk About It: Civil War Novels” discussion series, Lincoln’s Dreams, at 4 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Waynesville library auditorium. Emory Maiden, professor at Appalachian State University,…
Jody Kraner, owner of Amaste Woman, will speak from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 20 in the conference room of the Cooperative Extension Office. Amaste Woman is a company that creates and offers sewing patterns for making flattering, asymmetrical robes or tunic…
Members of the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra — conducted by William Henigbaum — will present a string chamber orchestra concert at 7 p.m. on Aug. 21 in the community room of the Jackson County Public Library.  The string players of…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

‘Wine for the Arts' celebrates 12th year

The Haywood County Arts Council will host its 12th annual “Wine for the Arts” from 7-9 p.m. Aug. 23 at The Classic Wineseller as part of the 2012 FUNd Party Series. The Classic Wineseller, which is located on Church Street…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Design school faculty to present work Aug. 23

Western Carolina University’s Fine Art Museum will host a reception from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 23 for its biennial School of Art and Design faculty art show. The exhibition features the work of WCU faculty members, all teaching artists, who work…
The Highlands Cashiers Players’ will premiere an uproarious, laugh-out-loud new Ken Ludwig comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” Aug. 23. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23-25 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1 and 2:30 p.m. Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. The…
Appalachian Fire Bluegrass Band of Flat Rock will perform a concert of classic bluegrass and gospel music at 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. Immediately following the one-hour concert, there will be…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Kenny Rogers is coming to Cherokee

Country legend Kenny Rogers will take the stage at Harrah’s Event Center in Cherokee at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Sean Kingston offers free concert at WCU

Contemporary vocalist Sean Kingston will perform a free outdoor concert on Western Carolina University’s Central Plaza on at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22. A DJ will kick off the event at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Marshall Ballew to perform in Waynesville

Tennessee songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Marshall Ballew will perform at 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Waynesville library auditorium on Haywood Street.
Dan Cherry, associate professor in Western Carolina University’s School of Music, will take listeners on a “European Tour” when he presents a recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. The free concert will be held in the recital hall of…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Caribbean Cowboys to perform in Fontana

The Summer Concert series at Fontana Village Resort will feature Logan Murrell from 8-11 p.m. Aug. 17 and the Caribbean Cowboys Trio from 8-11 p.m. Aug. 18 on the deck of the Wildwood Grill. The Caribbean Cowboys Trio play a…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Bluegrass jam livens up Fines Creek

The 15th annual Fines Creek Bluegrass Jam will take place from 5-11 p.m. Aug. 24-25 on the lawn of the Fines Creek Community Center at 190 Fines Creek Road in Clyde. This year’s line-up consists of The Ross Brothers, Steve Brown and…
Land of the Sky Barbershop Chorus will perform at 3 p.m. Aug. 19 in Tartan Hall at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Franklin. With more than 30 members, the Asheville-based, all-male chorus sings lively a cappella renditions of old-time and…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Jeff Little Trio slated for Stecoah Aug. 18

The Jeff Little Trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Stecoah Valley Center as part of the Appalachian Evening series. Little has a remarkable piano style influenced by the mountain flat-pick guitar style of Doc Watson. With…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Cruso quilting group to hold annual show

The Cruso Friendship Club will host its 23rd Quilt Show Aug. 24-25 at the Cruso Community Center on U.S. 276 South. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Apply now for Arts Council sub-grants

Haywood County Arts Council is now accepting applications for North Carolina Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program sub-grants through Sept. 20. Application forms and grant guidelines are available at www.haywoodarts.org or may be picked up at the Haywood County Arts Council…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Funding for the arts available

The Jackson County Arts Council is now accepting applications for arts program grants for the fiscal year 2012-2013. The grant application will be reviewed twice during the year. Applications are due by Sept. 20 to be reviewed in October at…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Local playwright tells story of Horace Kephart

Gary Carden, storyteller and humorist, will once again visit Highlands at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Hudson Library to share excerpts from his latest work, “Outlander,” a play about the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The…
The Jackson County Green Energy Park will host a reception at its art gallery from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 23 for Western Carolina University alumnus and ceramist Preston Tolbert.
The strings of tradition and progress echoed from the back alley. Upon further inspection (and a lone door cracked open), the harmonic tone was radiating from the mandolin of Darren Nicholson.
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

A taste for noir

Wild to Possess and A Taste for Sin by Gil Brewer. Stark House Press, 2006. One of the great delights of reading is to come across an exciting, new author for the first time. Even more delightful is the realization…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Blue Ridge Paper Products, long one of the largest employers in Western North Carolina, is no longer — at least in name. An internal memo sent to employees Aug. 24 announced that the company’s…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

When did the need for AC move up the mountain?

When we were having record and near record heat back in August, I did what any overheated mountain dweller would do — I packed up the family and headed to the beach. We don’t have air conditioning in our rural…